Once again, I returned to Hustler to try my hand at their tournament. This time, it’s the Oktoberfest $500 buy-in no limit tournament, with 7,500 in starting chips, and 40 minute rounds.
This is the type of tournament structure that I like because it gives you plenty of time to make your moves, and you can make 2 or 3 small mistakes, or even 1 big mistake and still have enough chips to play.
Before the tournament, I decided my strategy was going to be to play a lot of pots and try to accumulate chips to push people around in the later rounds.
In the first round of play, I limped in with 6, 9 and 3 others were in the pot with me. The flop was 9, 5, 3 rainbow. One guy bet 200, and everyone folded to me and I just called with my 6 kicker.
The turn was the 8 which put the second diamond on the board, giving me top pair and now a flush draw. The guy checks and I bet 350, now feeling better about my 6 kicker. That lasted about a second because he check raises me to 1,350.
I had played long enough at the table to notice that this guy was pretty tight and didn’t look like a guy that would bluff this early in the tournament. I wasn’t sure exactly where I was, but I felt pretty sure he wasn’t on a flush draw so my 9 high flush would be good if I hit it.
The river was the 3 giving me a flush. However, the guy comes out betting 1,000. Since I hit a back-door flush, I felt I could get some value out of raising and made it 3,000. He thought it over for 3 seconds and called. I showed my flush and he flips over pocket 8s for a full boat.
Whoops. Crap. I made 2 mistakes in one hand. First, I should have raised on the flop and he would have probably folded. Then on the river when the board paired 3s, I should have just called the 1,000.
This put me in a big hole but I wasn’t out yet. Unfortunately, the same guy got pocket Kings when I got pocket Jacks, and I lost more chips. Amazingly, I was able to get away from my pocket Jacks pre-flop so I didn’t lose all my remaining chips.
Eventually, I had to make a big bluff to try to get some chips and the move failed and I was out.
I’m not really sure if my original plan was a good one or not. Perhaps playing 6, 9 suited got me in the trouble that I got into. If I was playing tight, I would not have even played that hand.
In any case, I’m going to try again next Sunday for their $1,500 buy-in. Wish me luck. I’ll need it.